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University engineering student enhances skills with Blinn, TEEX pre-apprenticeship training

Safety training and hands-on projects complement Ahmed Harhara’s graduate studies at Texas A&M University

June 28, 2018


University engineering student enhances skills with Blinn, TEEX pre-apprenticeship training

When Ahmed Harhara’s professor at Texas A&M University requested advanced construction work as part of a research assignment, the chemical engineering graduate student knew it was time to brush up on his craft skills.

Thanks to a unique partnership between the Blinn College District and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), the Michigan native acquired basic safety and trades knowledge about the plumbing profession in approximately one month by enrolling in a plumbing pre-apprenticeship training program at the RELLIS Campus.

“Laboratory work is a major part of my studies at Texas A&M,” Harhara said. “In the past, I always had to enlist the help of an outside contractor to complete the task. Thanks to Blinn and TEEX, I now have the training to tackle the assignment without additional assistance.”

In 2017, Blinn and TEEX expanded their local workforce training course offerings to include a full slate of pre-apprenticeship trainings designed to quickly trained skilled workers for entry-level positions as carpentry, electrical, facilities maintenance, HVAC, plumbing, and welding assistants.

The accelerated, competency-based trainings, which vary from 80 to 144 hours, are offered at the RELLIS Campus in Bryan with the exception of welding, which is offered at Blinn’s Highway 60 Workforce Training Center.

Students who successfully complete one of the 144-hour trainings can earn the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certification, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-hour Construction Certificate, and certificates from both Blinn and TEEX. The NCCER certification is nationally recognized, qualifying students for jobs across the nation.

Students who complete the 80-hour courses earn certificates from Blinn and TEEX and the OSHA 10 credential.

“Blinn and TEEX have designed a short yet intense program where students can learn the skills and knowledge they need to hire on as apprentices in the trades industry,” Instructor Alex Torres said. “This is the fastest way to gain a competitive edge in the workforce.” 

In just over one month, Harhara and his classmates were taught job-site safety, the safe operation and use of basic plumbing tools, how to identify and interpret civil, architectural, structural, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical drawings, confirm accurate dimensions, and generate Requests for Information (ROIs).

Utilizing a miniature house constructed by the carpentry pre-apprenticeship training class, students learn to locate plumbing entry points, establish piping routes and fixture locations, and assemble and install various household plumbing fixtures, such as toilets, sinks, and garbage disposals.

“My favorite part about this training is that it is condensed into four weeks, with the majority of our time spent outside participating in hands-on activities,” Harhara said. “This class has definitely improved my skills, and I am looking forward to applying what I have learned toward my studies this fall.”

Blinn’s Division of Technical and Community Education and TEEX will offer its next carpentry pre-apprenticeship training beginning Monday, July 9, at the RELLIS Campus. The $1,800 course meets Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and includes instruction in English and Spanish.

Scholarships may be available through Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley. To see if you qualify, call 979-595-2800 and schedule an appointment with a Workforce Solutions counselor.

Blinn’s technical and community education courses provide students the knowledge and ability they need to enter the workforce immediately after completion of the courses. Many of these courses do not require a high school diploma and enrollment is fast and easy. As most of these courses are non-credit, students do not need to go through the College’s admissions process to enroll. Programs vary in length and are offered with daytime, evening, and weekend options.

Business owners can enroll their employees in Blinn Technical and Community Education courses using Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development and Skills for Small Business funds, and Blinn staff can help businesses complete the request form. Blinn also offers students access to scholarships through the Blinn College Foundation, private grants, and Workforce Solutions.

For more information or to register for these courses, visit the Blinn Post Office Campus at 301 Post Office Street in Bryan. For additional information, visit www.blinn.edu/workforce or call 979-209-7205.

COURSE NAME/NUMBER

BEGIN

END

CONTACT HOURS

DAYS

TIMES

LOCATION

COST

CNBT 1010: NCCER Core Curriculum
CBFM 1010: Carpentry Pre-Apprenticeship Training

7/9

7/12

7/11

8/1

24

120

MTWThF

MTWThF

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

RELLIS

RELLIS

$225

$1,575

CVOP 1013: Professional Truck Driver I (CDL & Class)

7/23

8/17

105

MTWThF

7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Hwy 60 Training Center

$2,350

CVOP 1040: Professional Truck Driver II (Road)

7/23

8/17

105

MTWThF

7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Hwy 60 Training Center

$2,350

ELPT 2000: Electrician License Renewal

7/21

7/21

4

Sat.

8:00 a.m. - noon

Hwy 60 Training Center

$45

MDCA 1000: Clinical Medical Assistant

7/30

8/22

32

MW

5:30 p.m. -  9:30 p.m.

Post Office Campus

$325

NURA 1013: Certified Medication Aide

7/31

12/4

140

TTh

1:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m.

Post Office Campus

$805

NURA 1041: Certified Medication Aide Refresher

7/21

7/21

8

Sat.

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Post Office Campus

$75

PHRA 1001: Pharmacy Technician

7/10

8/14

64

TWTh

1:00 p.m. -5:00 p.m.

Post Office Campus

$500